Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

April 25, 2003

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Estonia v Bulgaria Report

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 9:50 am

The News Review:

* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – England v Macedonia Report
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Israel v France Report
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Lithuania v Scotland Report
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Estonia v Bulgaria Report
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Spain v Armenia Report
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – England v Turkey Report
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Croatia v Andorra Report
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Luxembourg v Norway Report
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Hungary v Sweden Report
* A tame Congress on the cards

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – England v Macedonia Report
go.com – Apr 23, 2003
Goce Sedloski was caught in possession by Scholes who played Beckham in behindthe defence, the captain taking one touch on his chest before hitting anexquisite lob over Petar Milosevski. Milosevski then just got a fingertip touch to Bridge’s dangerous cross asSmith waited to pounce at the far post and England appeared to have recoveredfrom the early setback. The Macedonians had not read the script however and from their secondmeaningful attack they went in front again. This time it was Gerrard the guilty party as he gave away possession to Sakiriwho advanced before hitting a speculative shot from long range. Campbell tried to clear but only succeeded in finding Vance Trajanov whostroked the ball into the far corner past Seaman’s dive. The fact that Seaman was not culpable for the goal will have be no consolationto Eriksson, but England were at least making chances at the other end. Beckham refused to give up a lost cause and pulled the ball back from theby-line but Milosevski crucially diverted the ball away from Owen and Scholescould not turn in the loose ball… This time it was Gerrard the guilty party as he gave away possession to Sakiriwho advanced before hitting a speculative shot from long range. Campbell tried to clear but only succeeded in finding Vance Trajanov whostroked the ball into the far corner past Seaman’s dive. The fact that Seaman was not culpable for the goal will have be no consolationto Eriksson, but England were at least making chances at the other end. Beckham refused to give up a lost cause and pulled the ball back from theby-line but Milosevski crucially diverted the ball away from Owen and Scholescould not turn in the loose ball. Two minutes later Scholes turned provider, feeding Smith on the left-hand sideof the area but the Leeds striker could not get any power on his shot andMilosevski saved at his near post. There was nothing the goalkeeper could do about England’s second equaliserafter 35 minutes however, Gerrard thumping a superb volley past him from 20yards after Beckham’s initial corner was not cleared. Eriksson resisted the temptation to make any changes at half-time but he wasforced to just 10 minutes into the second period.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Israel v France Report
go.com – Apr 24, 2003
He will therefore be captain against Egypt. ”Desailly established himself initially as a midfielder in the early 1990s and then forged a successful partnership with Laurent Blanc in the heart of a solid French defence, which was a significant factor in the France `98 World Cup and Euro 2000 victories. Santini has taken the step of not selecting Zidane, Claude Makelele, David Trezeguet and Lilian Thuram in his 18-man squad, as their clubs are still involved in the Champions League. The coach explained: “It seemed essential for me to allow a rest for those players who have got through to the Champions League semi-finals. “These are the base principles which dictate my decision. I’ll leave those players to the disposition of their clubs. ”Zidane and Makelele will be involved in the first leg of Real Madrid’s semi-final against Thuram and Juventus a week after the Egypt friendly… “I think he is ready now and competition is important in all positions. ”One man overlooked was Eric Carriere, who played under Santini last season at Lyon. The former Nantes midfielder was not picked for last year’s World Cup squad and was not selected again, despite Zidane’s absence. Santini explained that the role Carriere is playing for Lyon, playing just off a striker in an attacking midfield position, does not match the way he intends the national side to play – but he did not rule out a future recall. “His form with Lyon is not called into question. It just happens that the position in which he plays doesn’t correspond with that of this team,” said Santini. “Eric is always part of the bigger group with which I work and we will continue to monitor him as usual.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Lithuania v Scotland Report
go.com – Apr 2, 2003
For Scotland however it was nothing short of a big chance blown – they werethe superior side in a poor match. Beforehand, the Scots had been forced to contend with the withdrawal throughinjury of two automatic starters – goalkeeper Robert Douglas and midfielderBarry Ferguson. Ferguson’s persistent groin problem meant he had not travelled and his placein the starting line-up was taken by Jackie McNamara of Celtic. Douglas had been expected to battle through, just as he had done on numerousoccasions for Celtic this season, but it was decided his thigh problem was toosevere. That gave understudy Paul Gallacher a first taste of competitive action withinternational novice Partick’s Kenny Arthur acting as back-up on the bench. That might have acted as an incentive for the home side to attack the Scots,especially as their own confidence had been boosted at the weekend. But apart from a routine effort from Igoris Morinas which lacked any power itwas not until the 35th minute that the rookie was tested… There were a few penalty area tumblings at both ends but Austrian refereeFritz Stuchlik was uninterested in the appeals, although he booked DainusGleveckas just after the half hour mark for a touchline felling of StevieCrawford, who had formed a speedy if lightweight forward partnership with KennyMiller. The Scots restarted strongly and both strikers did well to get crosses in fromthe left only to see them cleared by Nerijus Barasa, who also coped with aGraham Alexander corner. Barata pushed Paul Devlin in the face not long after replacing Crawford, whohad taken a blow in the ribs, in the 57th minute in a reshuffle that sawHutchison move up front. The West Ham man was involved in yet another phantom penalty appeal beforeDevlin set him up in the box for the clearest chance of the match so far. He hadonly the goalkeeper to beat but Stauce was equal to his low drive across goal. But at last referee Stuchlik decided it was time for a penalty – and itappeared he had got it all wrong when substitute Darius Maciulevicius went downand the Austrian official ruled McNamara had been the culprit despite a lack ofevidence of any real contact. Gallacher guessed correctly with Razanauskas’ penalty but just failed to keepit out and the Lithuanians had taken an undeserved 73rd-minute lead.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Estonia v Bulgaria Report
go.com – Apr 2, 2003
‘We were not surprised by the result as the Estonians playeda very defensive game,’ a disappointed Markov told a newsconference as he blamed his players for a lack of concentrationin the difficult sub-zero conditions at the A Le Coq Arena. Bulgaria are still top with 10 points ahead of Belgium, whoare not in action on Wednesday but have six points from fourgames. Fourth-placed Estonia have two points from three matches. Estonia gave Bulgaria a few scary moments in the openingminutes but the visitors soon took control, only to squander aseries of chances in a high-tempo game in which the Bulgariansopenly showed their frustration as time ran out. ‘I wasn’t very surprised by the Bulgarians’ attackingstyle,’ said Estonia coach Arno Pijpers, adding that the toughplaying conditions had been an advantage for the home team… ‘We were not surprised by the result as the Estonians playeda very defensive game,’ a disappointed Markov told a newsconference as he blamed his players for a lack of concentrationin the difficult sub-zero conditions at the A Le Coq Arena. Bulgaria are still top with 10 points ahead of Belgium, whoare not in action on Wednesday but have six points from fourgames. Fourth-placed Estonia have two points from three matches. Estonia gave Bulgaria a few scary moments in the openingminutes but the visitors soon took control, only to squander aseries of chances in a high-tempo game in which the Bulgariansopenly showed their frustration as time ran out. ‘I wasn’t very surprised by the Bulgarians’ attackingstyle,’ said Estonia coach Arno Pijpers, adding that the toughplaying conditions had been an advantage for the home team. ‘I’m very happy about the result, but still I’m a bitdisappointed that we missed several good chances.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Spain v Armenia Report
go.com – Apr 2, 2003
“The European Championships are next summer and I have to think he will play more games next season, although I don’t know for which team,” said Saez. “I have to keep on having confidence in him because I think he has all the qualities of a great centre forward. ”Saez will not pick Morientes consistently if he is playing only reserve-team football, however, and would probably encourage the frontman to go out on loan and prove his worth. Such a move has served Luis Garcia well. The left-sided midfielder left Barcelona to join Atletico Madrid on loan last summer, and a nine-goal haul this season, plus some lively performances, have persuaded Saez to give him a chance. The fact that the match is to be played at Atletico’s Vicente Calderon would appear to increase his chances of seeking some action. “We’ve not many left-sided players and Luis Garcia is fresh, so let’s see what he can do,” explained Saez… The left-sided midfielder left Barcelona to join Atletico Madrid on loan last summer, and a nine-goal haul this season, plus some lively performances, have persuaded Saez to give him a chance. The fact that the match is to be played at Atletico’s Vicente Calderon would appear to increase his chances of seeking some action. “We’ve not many left-sided players and Luis Garcia is fresh, so let’s see what he can do,” explained Saez. Garcia is joined by Real Sociedad’s Xabi Alonso, who has finally been rewarded for his brilliant season in central midfield. Alonso has been a fixture in the under-21 Spain team and Saez believes the time has also come to give him a chance. “(Ruben) Baraja is suspended for the next game and I have to look for alternatives. Next week’s game is a good moment to find out if Xabi could be his substitute,” he said.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – England v Turkey Report
go.com – Apr 2, 2003
There was more Rooney inspiration just before half-time when the teenagerembarked on a great mazy run into the heart of the Turkish defence. He slipped aglorious pass inside to Owen who tried to skip past Rustu but the keeper didwell to get a hand to the ball. England began the second half well and Campbell won another corner but hisdownward header did not have the pace to beat Rustu. Beckham swung a free-kickinto the side-netting then Paul Scholes volleyed against a defender. Turkey had been pinned back but Nihat had England nerves jangling with asnap-shot which James spilled and Ferdinand was forced to clear. Rooney burst past Tugay and tried his luck from 25 yards but his effort took adeflection, before Owen limped off in the 58th minute to be replaced byVassell. Scholes forced Rustu into a scrambling save then Gerrard headed wide fromBeckham’s flag-kick.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Croatia v Andorra Report
go.com – Apr 2, 2003
Hajduk Split midfielder Rapaic struck from the penalty spotafter 11 minutes and added a second just before halftime to giveCroatia their second win in five days after their inspired 4-0demolition of Belgium in Zagreb last Saturday. The victory takes Croatia above Belgium into second place inthe group table after four matches and they are now just threepoints behind leaders Bulgaria, who were held to a goalless drawin Estonia. Belgium were not in action on Wednesday. The hosts put Andorra under pressure from the start and itpaid off after 10 minutes when defender Roberto Jonas Alonsopushed Croatia’s Wolfsburg striker Tomislav Maric in the penaltyarea. Rapaic easily converted to give Croatia an early lead. After the Croatians had missed several chances, Rapaicscored again a minute before the break with a free-kick thateluded Andorra goalkeeper Alvarez after a slight deflection. Croatia kept up the pressure in the second half but createdfewer chances than in the first 45 minutes.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Luxembourg v Norway Report
go.com – Apr 2, 2003
The mainly amateur team from the Grand Duchy, who have lostall four of their qualifying matches, had a good opportunity toscore early in each half but their focus on playing defensivelyleft them ill-equipped to take their chances. Norway’s win moved them above Denmark, who had been level atthe top of the group with their neighbours before surprisinglylosing 2-0 at home to Bosnia on Wednesday. Romania, who were not in action, are third on six pointsabove Bosnia on goal difference after four games. Luxembourgprop up the table having conceded 13 goals without scoring.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Hungary v Sweden Report
go.com – Apr 2, 2003
The win puts Sweden back on track after two draws had leftthem trailing surprise Group Four leaders Latvia. They now havefive points from three games, two behind Latvia and Poland whowent top after a 5-0 win against San Marino. ‘The first half was as I imagined it would be, theHungarians did a great job in defence, and so we could not playthe way we planned,’ Sweden coach Lars Lagerbaeck said. ‘We had several opportunities to kill the game with a thirdgoal. All in all, this was a tough game. ‘Hungary coach Imre Gellei said the turning point was whenKrisztian Kenesei’s free kick hit the crossbar with the scorestill at 0-0. ‘That was a decisive moment as four minutes later weconceded a goal,’ he said.

A tame Congress on the cards
BBC News – Apr 11, 2003
With the contentious Rule 42 issue not on the agenda after a blunder which saw a motion on the Croke Park issue ruled out of order, there appear to be no major hot potatoes to handle. Motions to have match bans as opposed to time duration suspensions will be debated and will benefit the association if passed. The main development of the weekend will be the installation of president-elect Sean Kelly who will take over from Sean McCague. The Monaghan man will hand over the reins to Kerry native Kelly on Saturday afternoon. Kelly has the reputation of having more liberal tendancies than the conservative McCague so many feel that the days of Rule 42 are numbered… The events of Congress 2001 probably marked McCague’s high point when he somehow managed to convince Bertie Ahern to pledge 76 million Euro to aid the Croke Park redevelopment. As it transpired, a mere 38m materialised as the Celtic Tiger ran out of steam and the Stadium Ireland project hit terminal trouble. McCague’s refusal to play ball with the Irish Government over their outlandish plans to host Euro 2008 annoyed Mr Ahern. Dara O Se affair

However, McCague’s stance was predictable given that the Taoiseach had forgotten to ask the GAA in advance whether Croke Park would be available for the competition. McCague bravely railed against county boards who found it convenient not to enforce suspensions on star players ahead of major games. The Dara O Se affair last summer indicated that there was still work to do which hopefully will be rectified at this weekend’s Congress. All in all, even those who don’t agree with many of McCague’s core beliefs have to admit that his three years was a skilful stewardship of the association.

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